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Bird strike, Ryanair flight 2131 13 October 2021

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Bird strike, Ryanair flight 2131 13 October 2021

Old 14th Oct 2021, 11:54
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Bird strike, Ryanair flight 2131 13 October 2021

My local paper ran an item about Ryanair flight FR2131, Manchester to Lanzarote on 13 October 2021 which diverted to Liverpool because of a bird strike. (Usual alarming stuff about being low when it seemed a perfectly normal glide slope)

FR24 shows the flight climbing to a maximum of 3625 feet then turning north to a holding pattern north of Warrington for about 30 minutes before leaving the hold to land at Liverpool JLA


What seems odd about this flight is that the same flight the day before, as indeed other flights taking the same routing, have climbed to ~ 10000 feet by the same point to the East of Chester where the flight on 13 Oct. flight stopped climbing and remained at 3625 feet until it started its descent 40 minutes later.

I'm interested to get some professional comment on this. If it was a bird strike why was it only at 3625 feet and not 6000 feet higher at the point it stopped climbing Put it another way normal flights are at 3625 feet just over the M6 at Knutsford a couple of miles W of MIA. Why did this one continue SW when presumably turning right immediately for an emergency landing (with a hold) at LPL would have been the obvious course.


Clearly the engines weren't damaged such that it couldn't continue flying for the best part of an hour. Was it perhaps something software related and the crew were trying to fix it whilst continuing on the planned flight but eventually decided to turn back South of Chester. But then why not go straight into LPL?

Why would it have spent 30 minutes in a hold. Might that have been to dump fuel and if so why only 30 minutes of fuel when it was loaded for a ~ 4 hour flight?



Local paper report



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Old 14th Oct 2021, 12:35
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Ryanair's fleet can't dump fuel.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 12:49
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Why am I reading about a birdstrike ? Birdstrikes happen and crews take the necessary action.
As long as we share the same airspace........... Mods ?
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 12:58
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You're also looking at one flight in isolation: without the interaction with other traffic in that area at the time, there's no way of assessing why decisions were taken to fly that profile. I would hazard a guess that the strike either happened, or became apparent, at the level & those involved decided it was best to maintain that level, but without an airspace map & the traffic at the time, a guess is all it would be. As to why the need to hold for 30 minutes, either as above, or assessing the different options before deciding to divert, I imagine.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 13:05
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I'm sorry to have troubled you. It was a genuine question.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 13:41
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Perhaps the Mods should take a look at Sleeve Wing's unhelpful answer?
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 14:08
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Well the OP asked for some professional comment on this and as an ex-pro I must admit to having some sympathy with Sleeve Wing’s POV…what sort comment is expected that would regarded as “helpful”?.

All any of us can tell pro, ex-pro or neither, from the info to hand, is that an aircraft took off, hit bird (not that uncommon an event), the crew dealt with it and landed safely…..

If pressed for further comment then I’d have to say I’m also in agreement with Alphaman all sorts of variables on the day in question that may have had an effect on the profile flown on the incident flight, and that’s before we even consider the bird strike.

That event then in itself chucks other factors into the process, such as time needed to go through checklists/analysis/fault finding/decision making, based on matters we are not privy to. I certainly don’t think one can make any assumptions about the level of engine damage or that “..turning right immediately for an emergency landing (with a hold) at LPL would have been the obvious course.”


Last edited by wiggy; 14th Oct 2021 at 14:43.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 14:59
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Oh boy some do like to get on high horses. I can see no reason why someone should not ask a question and get a civilised reply. If it bugs yoy then just ignore it
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 15:30
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I have to agree with you Timmy. Professional pilots should remember that this is the "spectators Balcony" Forum and factor in that not all spectators/spotters are au fait with what to a pro may be considered as a fairly mundane event. The OP is obviously fairly new to PPRuNe and simply asked a question. Answering the question as best as possible (as wiggy did) is a lot more educational than making snide remarks! What is obvious to many in the industry is not always so to others. The rubbish spewed out by the press never helps either. If questions in the spotters forum annoy you then just stay out.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 17:49
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That’s a fair point, and I will admit to struggling to hide some irritation in my response so thanks for the kind words.

As far as the OP and the original post - I think the issue some might have is it appeared to be (probably accidentally) an invitation to “Monday morning quarter back” the incident crews actions, and then along the way maybe drop in a hint of criticism, all simply on the basis of a newspaper report and flight tracking data. The only people with anything like the full picture will be those actually involved.

Anyhow hopefully at least some questions have been answered to the OPs satisfaction…and also hopefully he/she hasn’t been scared off the forum.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 20:37
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MSA

MSA at MAN is 3,500ft, 3,600ft if heading out via Wales. Maybe they just levelled at MSA?
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 21:46
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Originally Posted by Avman View Post
The OP is obviously fairly new to PPRuNe
Join date November 2004. Obviously new.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 22:11
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OK, I looked at the number of posts and not the joining date. I don't honestly think that it detracts from my main point concerning questions in this particular forum!
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 23:57
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Can't comment on this specific incident, however a birdstrike on departure is not unusual for a commercial aircraft. Usually there's no damage and the aircraft continues en-route. Occasionally the crew will decide to return to the departure airport as a precaution. Very rarely, more significant damage may occur, usually an engine issue causing noise and excessive vibration, which will lead the crew to shut the engine down as a precaution. On a twin-engined airliner this isn't a huge problem in as much as modern twins have to be able to lose 50% of their power and still be able to maintain a certain climb rate. Before departure, all crews brief for certain situations - for example, they will always brief that if they lose an engine shortly after departure, they will climb to at least Minimum Sector Altitude [MSA], head to a certain bit of airspace, then run through their checklists and re-assess the situation. The MSA guarantees at least 1000' separation above the highest bit of terrain in that area, and almost certainly accounts for the 3500/3600' you describe.

So now, assuming they've shut an engine down and reached the MSA, they will have time to run through a load of checklists and decide on the best course of action. There are very few inflight emergencies which require an immediate landing (onboard fire is actually the only one I can think of)... the much safer option is for a crew to methodically work through checklists, plans, options, review... then act. Real life is not like the movies in that respect. Less exciting, more checklist based...and a lot safer as a result. It's not at all unusual for an airliner to encounter some kind of emergency like this, and then enter the hold for 20-30 mins or more before asking to make an approach.

Very few modern aircraft have the ability to dump fuel - another movie option - and so, unless it's a totally time critical issue [see above], some time spent holding will use up fuel and bring the aircraft weight down, enabling a slower approach and landing, which has many benefits.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 00:57
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My guess, holding to get below to max landing weight.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 01:10
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Poster got the slapping as he was trumpeting in a main news forum - moved here by a mod for the breathless hyperventilators...

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Old 15th Oct 2021, 07:25
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Why did he not return to Manchester.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:26
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about 8 years ago on approach to Langkawi Island Malaysia from Penang Island in A320 (I was PIC)
at about 1 mile we ingested in Left engine a Malaysian Eagle. I only knew on arrival as we were almost over threshold when I saw a large Bird
apparently close to the Wing area and on shutdown Engineer found remains, No engine prob's. Only problem caused was long delay. A few days later another A320 ingested one shortly after takeoff from penang that one set off N1 vibration warning so in flight return to Penang. I probably should say highly likely an eagle as they are common around these Islands and engineering found remains of a large Bird along with damaged engine Fan.The A320 family can do overweight landing but you
would do that for example with a severe failure or Fire requiring a landing ASAP, I am not rated on 737. It sounds like they had a birdstrike sometime after takeoff not involving an engine and MAYBE the Captains decision was to burn fuel to reduce weight as no need for immediate landing or maybe the hold was to discuss and make a decision. Had they seen a Bird hit the Windscreen as an example again? or heard a loud banging noise? somewhere after takeoff closer to Liverpool again as an example?
My 10 pence worth.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:32
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Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Why did he not return to Manchester.
A couple of possible reasons:
  • Manchester being a much busier airport where handling an emergency including a potentially overweight landing would cause disruption
  • Availability of a spare aircraft at LPL for pax to continue their journey
There's a You-Tube vis out there of a birdstrike at MAN several years ago. Departing 757 ingested the bird requiring the shut down of an engine. ATC offered the aircraft options including return to MAN or going to LPL with runway availability/LDA quoted.

In that case the flight returned to MAN.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:42
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Indeed the comments have been useful, thanks to all who have responded. For the avoidance of doubt, and to repeat an earlier comment it was a genuine question. I was not offering or implying any value judgment or comment.
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